Yin Yoga Sequence / Kidney and Urinary Bladder Meridians
April 4, 2020
Hi yin friends!
I hope you are all doing well. I am currently leading a series of webinars that detail out the main meridian lines that we tap into in yin yoga. You can check out those below for more information on these two lines.
Today, I wanted to offer a new sequence that stimulates energy flow along the kidney and urinary bladder lines for you all. These two energy pathways compliment each other in their yin / yang qualities. The kidney meridian runs from the feet through the inner legs up through the belly and chest while the urinary bladder line starts at the eyes and traces the back of the skull, spine and posterior side of the legs ending in the feet at the little toe. These postures will help provide acupressure to different points along these lines to encourage the flow of Qi and help you feel more vibrant and connected.
You can get a PDF of this sequence at the base of the post.
Begin your practice reclined on blocks. Place two blocks vertically in line with the spine (upper back). The block under your head will be propped up at the edge of the one beneath the back. The idea here is that the elevated block will add pressure to the space where your neck meets the skull.
This posture will work to add gentle pressure to the urinary bladder lines along the spine and at UB 10 at the base of the skull. Rock your head gently side to side to massage at this point and help create greater release and stimulation of the meridian.
HEAD SUSPENSION (5-8 breaths)
Now begin to take the hands and interlace them gently behind the back of the head. Gently draw the chin to the chest and let the head hang as heavy as possible, completely letting tension go. Relax the jaw and muscles of the face.
TOE STRETCH (3 min)
Make your way slowly off your blocks and come up and into a toe stretch. Curl the toes under from table position and sit back toward the heels. Keep the hands forward for less sensation and continue to sit up and onto the heels for more weight and pressure into the sensation.
This is where our kidney line begins and our bladder line ends so there’s a beautiful stimulation of yin and yang energy that happens in this posture. When the time is up, come forward to table and move through ankle stretches and pat the feet to the earth to release the pressure.
BUTTERFLY + Acupressure at K1(5 min)
Sweep the legs forward of you and open the knees out wide like a diamond as you bring the outer edges of the feet together. Start this posture with specific acupressure at K1 (the first point of the kidney meridian). Add gentle, but firm pressure just beneath the second toe under the ball of the foot on each foot. Spend about a minute like that, then release and fold forward, allowing the back to round.
HALF DRAGONFLY (4 min)
Open the legs into a V-shape. Take an inhale as you turn the chest gently toward the left leg. Begin to fold over the leg when ready. Again, utilize props and round the back here if it feels safe in your spine. This will aid in stimulating the lines in the back body.
Before moving to the other side, rise up and slowly transition to the next posture.
HALF SHOELACE (4 min)
Cross the right leg over the left for half shoelace pose. You can take the full pose here if you’d like for more attention on the kidney line, or maintain half shoelace for both kidney and urinary lines in the legs.
Continue with the next pose before repeating on second side.
RECLINED DEER (5 min)
Rise up and unravel the legs so the left shin is forward of you and the right is out to your right side. You can begin to recline back and onto the forearms, hands or all the way to the back.
You’ll likely feel this in the inner/ top of right leg (kidney) and lower back (bladder/kidney).
repeat dragonfly through reclined deer on the second side.
Staff Pose – Meridian Yang Movements (1 min)
Come into a seated position with the legs extended in front of you. Elevate the hips a bit if it’s difficult to maintain length in the spine here. You can also bend the knees. On an inhale lift the arms out and upward and as you exhale round the back as you reach forward, then draw the arms back toward you, out and up as you inhale again. See video demonstration below…
CATERPILLAR (5 min)
Eventually settle forward and into your caterpillar fold over the legs. Utilize props to support you here and let the head hang heavy.
LEGS UP THE WALL (5 min)
Transition to a wall (or your preferred savasana position). If taking legs up the wall, you can take the legs straight up or open the legs to a butterfly position.